It is getting close to that time of our were our ice fishing season closes for pike, walleye and bass and ice anglers begin to focus on panfish and late ice crappies in particular.
When setting up on late ice crappies I have tended to fish in kind of a non traditionally crappie spot and that has lead to a lot of success. I am set up on a main lake point that sticks out into a mud flat and I am fishing in about 20 feet of water.
These late ice crappies tend to move across from this main lake point into this mud flat because they are searching for food.
It is also a situation where running and gun isn’t necessarily better and I have often found more success pick out my spot and letting the fish come to me.
Invertebrates like mayfly larvae and bloodworms are rising from the mud and that’s what these fish are feeding on. Because the fish are keying in on invertebrates I am using a presentation to match that.
I have two different style jigs tied up. A vertical Northland Forage Minnow Jig tipped with a wax worm.
The second style jig is a horizontal style jig like Northland’s Mud Bug Jig and you can rig this with a plastic or some wax worms or spikes.
The benefit of having both style jigs tied up is that you will see some days one will drastically out preform the other so it is nice to have both options ready to go.
I will also set up a dead stick a few feet away from me with a crappie minnow. This just gives the fish another option and helps you cover ground.
For my set up I am using a Tuned Up Customs 32″ Bullwhip and I’ve got it rigged with 3 pound test. This is a great setup for fishing outside for these late ice crappies.
Finding areas with mud transitions like this main lake point, and then using the right baits to match the forage will help you catch more late ice crappies.